One's already done, an hour-long talk at work. I know this one matters more than my other "performance", my Mozart rehearsal tonight, but somehow I seem to care less about it, at least in terms of the ratio of hours invested in specific preparation to the duration of the performance. One's an hour, and I spent a day preparing. The other lasts five minutes, and I've been preparing for weeks (or months, or years, depending on what you count).
Still, it's interesting to compare the two. For the Mozart, essentially every note has been written down for two hundred years, and the articulations, phrasing etc planned for months. It's not easy to execute, especially execute well (I've spent my recent practicing focused on rhythm, trying to maintain a steady beat), but it's all known. The talk, on the other hand, is essentially all improvised. Yes, it's structured, cued off the slides I prepared, and I know more or less what I want to say, but in the moment, it's all about flow, about communicating with the audience. Never once did I worry that I might stumble over a particularly difficult to pronounce bit, the analog of messing up the notes in Mozart, my thoughts were all on a much higher level -- what did I say last, what will I need to say next, is this making sense, is it getting through. I suspect that I'm a much better speaker than a musician, even if one person slept through the whole thing.
Update: and after all that, it didn't happen. (Last minute conductor sub, *sigh*) There's always next week, I know, and the week after that, etc., but I can't say I'm not a tiny bit disappointed. I'd been trying to peak for today, and I doubt that I'll be able to get the same energy into it for next week. Still, I can give you my runthrough from this morning.
Mozart-runthrough-2011-02-15 by TFox17